Friday, July 21, 2006

Prescott: It's Like Offering to Pay for Shoplifted Goods

It's not often that I post someone's Comment as a main post on this blog, but I thought Leo summed Prescott's defence up perfectly in this comment...

This is the new version of the Code, is it? You've committed an offence by not registering, this was pointed out months after said offence by Press and Opposition, so you then registered because you had no choice. So that's OK then, no offence after all. Surely that's like offering to pay if you get caught shoplifting?


Anonymous said...

Spot on.

I am incredulous that Prezza seems to be getting away with yet another sleazy cock-up (sorry about the imagery).

I'm not that old, and can remember when ministers and MPs resigned for FAR less.

Tapestry said...

Prescott denied receiving any 'payments'. Why did he mention that as none are alleged?

Anonymous said...

I liked the tail ender in the BBC on line report...The added danger now, however, is that attention will turn to the prime minister himself with questions being asked over why he is so reluctant to see his deputy investigated..... Just what has Pressa got on him, perhaps witnessed a knee trembler, or two!

Anonymous said...

Rt.Hon John Prescott!!!

Anonymous said...

Since I'm a recent convert to this wonderful blog, I feel I must have missed something.
What hold has Prescott got over the PM and others, as surely any right-thinking politician---if there's such a thing---would have sacked him or called for his sacking!
Puzzled---very puzzled.

Anonymous said...

Prescott and/or his people knew exactly what the rules were. If they didn't then they should be fired for incompetence. But has he failed to observe the Spirit or the Letter of the law?

As far as Blair is concerned it's OK if you comply with the rules - eventually - or when obliged so to do. (That is, when someone makes a fuss, or there's the possibility of a political embarrassment). So an eleven month gap is all right, given that they are all so very busy 'getting on with the job' or in JP's case is that 'getting on the job'?.

After all, there's almost certainly no timescale attached to the requirement to declare - something any competent lawyer or legislator should/would have immediately noted. Maybe the 'rules' will have to be altered in the light of this 'tragic event'. And then JP might perhaps realise what his obligations are - assuming, of course, that there are no other loopholes.....

What sort of animals are these? Pretty straight? Whiter than white? Or are they just liars, freeloaders and crooks with no moral compass?

Anonymous said...

Francis Walsingham - sorry, but I don't get your logic. Are you saying that wrongdoing is OK if it is trivial in the eyes of the wrongdoer?

Surely the whole point is not the value of the gifts concerned (although that seems suspiciously low - what do the Home Office know about the cost of cowboy boots?) - but the fact that JP didn't register them (or presumably, declare them to Customs). Why didn't he - he knew he should - it's not difficult. Surely the very concealment of these gifts is the suspicious part.

As for hairsplitting - no, I don't think it is - after all, honesty in small things is the mark of integrity. Is it wrong to rob banks but OK to dip your fingers in the office teafund? They're both theft, after all.

(PS: Iain, thanks very much for the kind remarks, still blushing as I type!)

The Remittance Man said...


Could it be that ANY cosy relationship with one of the businessmen bidding for a lucrative and controversial concession from the government is iffy to say the least?

The cowboy suit and a couple of nights B&B at the Ponderosa are simply the tip of the iceberg. But, thanks to the regime being packed with lawyers it's only the tip that can be investigated so far.

But other questions that should be asked include: "Why, when Prezza's jolly was publicised, did we get several spurious and often conflicting explainations?" and "What role does the OPDM have in the awarding of franchises?" The regime claims Prezza has no say in planning functions and that casino licences are the remit of the Department of Culture and Sport. But Prezza has explicit powers (or at least had) to override local planning decisions. I'd imagine he carries more clout in NuLab circles than whichever nonentity currently sits in the big office over at Culture and Sport.

You're on the ball with the hypocrisy angle though. Let's face it, everyone believes that all politicians are a bunch of lying, coniving schysters. It's when they stand up and say we should all be good and then carry on being schysters that needs to be exposed. Major rightly got it when he failed to discipline MP's caught acting in ways that conflicted with his "Victorian Values" idea.

Blair proclaimed his regime would be "whiter than white". Every time he fails to discipline his troops for falling short of this ideal he should be pilloried, whether the troops are taking backhanders, shagging people or things they shouldn't or playing cowboys and indians with rich businessmen bidding for government contracts.

Every Time.